T20 Champions 2018
Report by Marcus Smith (Images courtesy of Emma Croft and Phil Gilbank)
Sunday, 1st July 2018
Woodhouse win Hunters Yorkshire League North T20 Blast
Woodhouse Grange won their first major honour as a Yorkshire League outfit by defeating York in the Hunters T20 Blast Final on Sunday 1st July.
Scarborough was a fitting venue for Finals Day, with spectators treated not only to a scorching summer's day but some red-hot cricket as well.
Woodhouse played Harrogate in the second semi-final, after York qualified for the final by defeating Acomb.
Fielding first, Woodhouse were soon on the back foot, with opener Jack Potticary dishing out some severe punishment to raise the score to 50 inside the first five overs. Potticary's dismissal for 48 off just 21 balls proved to be the turning point, skipper James Finch making the crucial breakthrough aided by Chris Suddaby's excellent boundary catch.
Grange's quintet of spinners then pegged back Harrogate significantly, sharing all of the wickets as the inning closed at 137-8. Finch led the way with 3-24, and SImon Tennant 2-19 in their 4 over stints. A special mention for a stunning diving catch by Chris Bilton at long-on.
Openers Andrew Bilton (37 off 23 balls) and Tom Young (23 off 18) got the Grange reply off to a bright start in a stand of 64. A few wickets followed thereafter, and at 109-5 the game was interestingly poised. However Chris Bilton's presence at the crease proved crucial, as his run-a-ball 50 took Woodhouse to the brink of victory, which was completed with 3 wickets and 4 balls to spare.
In the final, Woodhouse Grange won the toss, deciding that scoreboard pressure was the way to outwit a strong York side.
After a tough start against the pace of Jonny Moxon and Guy Darwin, the Grange openers began to find their touch. Tom Young was particularly fluent before falling for 39 with the score 52-1.
Andrew Bilton then took over the role of aggressor, striking 5 fours and two sixes in his 43 from 32 balls. However the middle order struggled against the spin of Dan Woods (3-16), before the Tennant brothers took Woodhouse to respectability at 142-7.
Wickets would be key for Woodhouse to have any hope of victory, and left-arm spinner Josh Jackson obliged in the first over, removing the dangerous Charlie Elliott. Thereafter York found the boundary at an alarming rate, with the formidably in-form Duncan Snell looking particularly dangerous.
However Off-spinner Chris Suddaby took the second York wicket on 47. One run later, captain Finch once again made the crucial breakthrough, deceiving Snell with an excellent caught and bowled; the Yorkshire League's leading scorer dismissed for 31 off 21 balls.
Another wicket quickly followed, leaving York 48-4. Sensing a real opportunity, Grange's spinners once again kept things tight. But York fought back well in the shape of Booth and Brooks, and the longer they batted together it seemed as though they could take their side to victory.
Needing 31 from the final 3 overs, the game was evenly poised. However Steve Burdett conceded only 7 in the 18th (his first) over to leave the asking rate at two runs per ball. Brooks then hit a couple more boundaries before falling for 46 to the off-spin of SImon Tennant, stumped by Mike Burdett.
With 13 required from the last over, Steve Burdett held his nerve, as the target proved just beyond York's reach; Woodhouse prevailing by the narrow margin of 5 runs.
A memorable day for Woodhouse Grange and their supporters, with all players making valuable contributions towards the club's first 'pink ball' success in senior cricket.
Woodhouse Grange - Yorkshire Premier League Hunters T20 Blast Champions 2018
Back row L-R: Josh Jackson, Rich Walton, Andrew Bilton (Vice captain), Sam Tennant, Chris Suddaby, Steve Burdett
Front row L-R: Chris Bilton, Mike Burdett, James Finch (Captain), SImon Tennant, Tom Young
Grange celebrate the crucial wicket of York's Duncan Snell, dismissed by James Finch (77).